The risk of infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) increases with age, according research from the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, which found RSV to be a common cause of acute respiratory illness in adults aged 50 years or more.

“RSV has long been known to cause serious respiratory illness in infants, but much less is known about the illnesses RSV causes in older adults,” said Edward Belongia, MD, director of the Epidemiology Research Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation (MCRF).

“Knowing that adults’ susceptibility to RSV increases as they age is important for health care providers and public health officials to note as they treat and monitor respiratory illnesses this season.”

The authors note that additional research is warranted to understand why older adults are more susceptible to RSV than other groups.